Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Irrelevance of the Truth

 

The letter sent by 1,100 former officials from the Department of Justice condemning AG William Barr is a travesty. That these former officials would demand AG Barr’s resignation in the face of the circumstances that have been publicized and the lack of a complete set of facts is so blatantly political that it should be embarrassing to all of them. They are so blinded by their political biases, however, that they have no clue about how they have tarnished their own reputations.

If we look carefully at this situation, we can see that there are differences of opinion on what actually happened regarding the sentencing recommendation of the Stone case. The protest letter authors assume they know exactly what happened, but given AG Barr’s reputation, I think they don’t have the grounds for a legitimate protest. In their letter, they make this statement:

The Department has a long-standing practice in which political appointees set broad policies that line prosecutors apply to individual cases. That practice exists to animate the constitutional principles regarding the even-handed application of the law. Although there are times when political leadership appropriately weighs in on individual prosecutions, it is unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case. It is even more outrageous for the Attorney General to intervene as he did here — after the President publicly condemned the sentencing recommendation that line prosecutors had already filed in court.

The statement that I italicized is simply untrue. It may be rare for the top leaders to overrule, but they do. In fact, AG Barr had to step in because although the four prosecutors had recommended seven to nine years to the top leadership, they were told this sentence recommendation was excessive and to reduce it. They decided, however, to “bully” Timothy Shea, who had recently been made the top federal prosecutor in DC, into signing off on the longer sentence. It’s called insubordination. Shea’s misstep was one factor behind this judicial mess.

But AG Barr refused to let the recommendation stand; he was not going to let these rogue prosecutors decide on their own what was appropriate.

Jonathan Turley, a highly regarded professor at George Washington University Law School wrote on the appropriateness of AG Barr’s actions:

First, the prosecutors may have filed without approval and in conflict with the views of Main Justice. That would be an act of insubordination if Main Justice had not signed off on the recommendation or ordered a different recommendation. These prosecutors are subject to the decisions of the Justice Department on policy and strategy.

Second, Main Justice may have demanded a change after the recommendation that the prosecutors may have viewed as political interference from the White House. The prosecutors could argue that they set the recommendation at the high end, but still within, the sentencing guidelines. That would, of course, be equally serious and concerning.

Turley’s concern was not the action that AG Barr took to rescind the recommendation, but the circumstances that motivated the action:

Thus, it is not improper as a general rule to have Main Justice intervene in a case or countermand local prosecutors. The sole question is the impetus for the change. If the Criminal Division objected on the same grounds that many of us have been raising, it would not be improper. If the White House objected, the move to override the local prosecutors would be a serious breach of prosecutorial integrity and independence. Given the President’s public statement, we cannot rule out the latter and assume the former. That is why Barr needs to make this normally confidential process much more transparent.

Timelines for these actions are mixed and confusing. President Trump was foolish to speak publicly about the Stone case; he could have privately consulted AG Barr. I fully supported Barr’s public criticism of Trump’s tweets regarding specific cases in the DOJ, although it’s not clear whether his protest will make a difference. At least he told the public that he’s not under anyone’s thumb.

He will appear before the House Judiciary Committee in late March on this subject.

Naturally, if you hate the President and AG Barr’s actions in the DOJ to-date, you assume the worst. The willingness of the former DOJ employees to tar the DOJ and AG Barr because of their assumptions is one more example of the irrelevance of the truth for the Left.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Before I know whether Jonathan Turley should be “highly regarded” or not, I’ll have to see a complete list of all his political affiliations and contributions and ..:

    When are they going to give up on this “thought crime nonsense? 1984 is a dystopian novel,not a blueprint!

    • #1
    • February 17, 2020, at 9:16 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    The letter they wrote is a clever diversion. Instead of focusing on the insubordination of the prosecutors, they’re going after Barr and Trump. Of course, they’d like to think that if they were in the shoes of the four prosecutors, they would be just as brave. How dare Barr act like their boss!

    • #2
    • February 17, 2020, at 9:35 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  3. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    The recommendation by the four prosecutors (two of whom were part of the sleazo Mueller team, and other two just routine DOJ hacks) was a setup. If they were allowed to go ahead with it they knew the judge would not accept their recommendation so it was all for show and they’d become heroes and if they were overruled by DOJ they could make an issue of it and become heroes. 

    The 1100 former DOJ lawyers should just be ignored. In fact, their complaint tells us Barr is on the right track and is further evidence of the extent of corrupt partisanship at DOJ and for how long it has gone on. They didn’t care when Holder was running around boasting he was Obama’s wingman, they didn’t care when 2/3 of the IGs in the government, including Horowitz at DOJ, sent letter to Congress complaining about Administration obstruction of their investigations, obstruction they specifically said was led by Holder at DOJ, they didn’t care when Holder was cited for contempt of Congress and ignored it, they didn’t care when Obama obstructed justice in the Clinton email investigation. We can go on and on.

    I also think Trump should just have kept quiet. And he needs to keep quiet about any pending cases. Barr is right about that.

     

    • #3
    • February 17, 2020, at 9:55 AM PST
    • 20 likes
  4. CACrabtree Coolidge

    And, I suppose these same 1,100 former DOJ officials saw no problem with Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s famous tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton. Oh, I forgot, they were just talking about their grandchildren. Move along folks; nothing to see here.

    Whoa! Late Breaking News! Eight legal analysts who work for CNN and MSNBC signed a petition calling for the resignation of Attorney General William Barr. Well there, you have it…He’s gotta go!

    • #4
    • February 17, 2020, at 9:58 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  5. Tedley Member

    A large number of people will never dig into the details, will only accept that former officials are criticizing Barr and Trump. Fortunately, I think enough Trump supporters see this for the crock that it is. 

    Should Trump be re-elected, one positive action would be to reorganize the Justice Department and make it smaller. (wash and repeat for other federal departments) Along with decreasing the number of potential leakers, it would result in fewer former officials who could criticize future Republican presidents. 

    • #5
    • February 17, 2020, at 10:17 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. Songwriter Member
    Songwriter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I only have to know that Barr is being attacked by former DOJ officials and CNN employees to feel confident he is doing something right.

    • #6
    • February 17, 2020, at 10:43 AM PST
    • 14 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    The recommendation by the four prosecutors (two of whom were part of the sleazo Mueller team, and other two just routine DOJ hacks) was a setup. If they were allowed to go ahead with it they knew the judge would not accept their recommendation so it was all for show and they’d become heroes and if they were overruled by DOJ they could make an issue of it and become heroes. 

    All excellent points, @gumbymark. I suspect that Timothy Shea has been “counseled” on not letting himself be bullied, too. I suspect what they were demanding was so outrageous that he signed off without thinking. I suspect he’ll know better next time!

    • #7
    • February 17, 2020, at 11:11 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    CACrabtree (View Comment):
    And, I suppose these same 1,100 former DOJ officials saw no problem with Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s famous tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton. Oh, I forgot, they were just talking about their grandchildren. Move along folks; nothing to see here.

    Actually I heard there’s a new book out on that little tarmac encounter. I don’t know if it’s worth looking into; at this point, nothing will happen. Thanks, @cacrabtree.

    • #8
    • February 17, 2020, at 11:12 AM PST
    • Like
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Tedley (View Comment):

    A large number of people will never dig into the details, will only accept that former officials are criticizing Barr and Trump. Fortunately, I think enough Trump supporters see this for the crock that it is.

    Should Trump be re-elected, one positive action would be to reorganize the Justice Department and make it smaller. (wash and repeat for other federal departments) Along with decreasing the number of potential leakers, it would result in fewer former officials who could criticize future Republican presidents.

    Right on all counts, @tedley. What disturbs me about the letter is that people will be convinced by the sheer number of attorneys who spoke out, without knowing there’s no “there there.” But the DOJ needs some major cleaning. I hope Barr is figuring out who to dump.

    • #9
    • February 17, 2020, at 11:14 AM PST
    • Like
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    I only have to know that Barr is being attacked by former DOJ officials and CNN employees to feel confident he is doing something right.

    Yep! Over the target, as they say. Thanks, @songwriter.

    • #10
    • February 17, 2020, at 11:14 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    The count is now 2000 former DOJ officials. I don’t know why there are so many former DOJ officials that have TDS. I am beginning to think that the swamp gas of DC is permanently altering minds. Or, the DOJ is a magnet for those with pre-TDS.

    • #11
    • February 17, 2020, at 7:22 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. Al Kennedy Member
    Al Kennedy Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Tedley (View Comment):

    A large number of people will never dig into the details, will only accept that former officials are criticizing Barr and Trump. Fortunately, I think enough Trump supporters see this for the crock that it is.

    Should Trump be re-elected, one positive action would be to reorganize the Justice Department and make it smaller. (wash and repeat for other federal departments) Along with decreasing the number of potential leakers, it would result in fewer former officials who could criticize future Republican presidents.

    Right on all counts, @tedley. What disturbs me about the letter is that people will be convinced by the sheer number of attorneys who spoke out, without knowing there’s no “there there.” But the DOJ needs some major cleaning. I hope Barr is figuring out who to dump.

    I think it would be interesting to see a list of whom these 1100 attorneys voted for in 1916. I’d be surprised if more than 5 voted for President Trump.

    President Obama brought many attorneys who shared his worldview into the Department of Justice (DOJ) during his administration. He and Eric Holder made the DOJ a highly politicized organization. When President Trump was elected most of these attorneys joined Civil Service and became permanent DOJ employees. I agree that Trump should not tweet about cases or judges. He should give his opinion to Attorney Barr in private. My fear is that if he continues to tweet about DOJ as he is currently doing, he runs the risk that the results of Attorney Durham’s investigation will not be considered credible. If Trump doesn’t like the sentence that Stone is given, he can always pardon him.

    • #12
    • February 18, 2020, at 4:07 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Al Kennedy (View Comment):
    My fear is that if he continues to tweet about DOJ as he is currently doing, he runs the risk that the results of Attorney Durham’s investigation will not be considered credible.

    Interesting point, @alkennedy. Although the Left will discredit Durham’s report anyway.

    • #13
    • February 18, 2020, at 5:04 AM PST
    • Like
  14. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn: Naturally, if you hate the President and AG Barr’s actions in the DOJ to-date, you assume the worst.

    What I hate is the murky, tangled mess that these things always are. They always seem to require some insider knowledge of judicial matters, which I do not possess. There is always someone with a well written defense of the actions, but there is always someone with a well written critique of the actions as well. And where can I go to get unbiased details about who Roger Stone is? Nowhere. Not Fox, not CNN, not NYT. Nowhere.

    • #14
    • February 18, 2020, at 6:11 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Spin (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Naturally, if you hate the President and AG Barr’s actions in the DOJ to-date, you assume the worst.

    What I hate is the murky, tangled mess that these things always are. They always seem to require some insider knowledge of judicial matters, which I do not possess. There is always someone with a well written defense of the actions, but there is always someone with a well written critique of the actions as well. And where can I go to get unbiased details about who Roger Stone is? Nowhere. Not Fox, not CNN, not NYT. Nowhere.

    Clarity is very important to me, too, @spin. The mess that we’ve muddled through over the last three years has been so frustrating.

    • #15
    • February 18, 2020, at 6:14 AM PST
    • 1 like
  16. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Tedley (View Comment):

    A large number of people will never dig into the details, will only accept that former officials are criticizing Barr and Trump. Fortunately, I think enough Trump supporters see this for the crock that it is.

    Should Trump be re-elected, one positive action would be to reorganize the Justice Department and make it smaller. (wash and repeat for other federal departments) Along with decreasing the number of potential leakers, it would result in fewer former officials who could criticize future Republican presidents.

    Yes. Obama and Holder packed DOJ with political appointees that they got civil service status for. I don’t recall the details but it was news about 8 years ago. The DOJ is far too large and the role of Mueller (actually Weissmann) is not one anyone should be proud of,. His performance at his hearing shows that he was a figurehead to cover the partisans running the operation.

    https://www.fedsmith.com/2017/09/28/gao-finds-76-instances-obama-political-appointees-burrowing/

     

    • #16
    • February 18, 2020, at 6:16 AM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Al Kennedy (View Comment):
    My fear is that if he continues to tweet about DOJ as he is currently doing, he runs the risk that the results of Attorney Durham’s investigation will not be considered credible.

    Interesting point, @alkennedy. Although the Left will discredit Durham’s report anyway.

    Yes, but he (President Trump) still needs to stop. It lends credibility to their campaign to discredit. Let Barr & Co. do his job.

    • #17
    • February 18, 2020, at 6:18 AM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Al Kennedy (View Comment):

    President Obama brought many attorneys who shared his worldview into the Department of Justice (DOJ) during his administration. He and Eric Holder made the DOJ a highly politicized organization. When President Trump was elected most of these attorneys joined Civil Service and became permanent DOJ employees.

    It started before Obama. Remember Janet Reno and her Deputy AG, Eric Holder? And it’s not just the DOJ.

    James Howard Kunstler has a somewhat optimistic view:

    The AG has apparently partitioned the DOJ into two separate realms: the now-identified corps of coupsters working desperately to keep their asses covered in an unraveling conspiracy, and Mr. Barr’s group attempting to account fairly for all that has happened, while salvaging what’s left of the outfit’s institutional legitimacy. Too much documented evidence of crime is out there in the public domain to dismiss these activities as a “conspiracy theory.” The trouble is, so many were involved from so many branches and agencies, that fully prosecuting every angle of it could bring down the permanent bureaucracy like the Jenga tower it has become.

    The decision to let Mr. McCabe skate on the lying rap infuriated those demanding accountability for government lawyers-gone-wild, since even the DOJ Inspector General, Mr. Horowitz, cited serial instances of his “lacking candor” in more than one report, and “Andy” seems to have been a pivot-man for the FBI in the early-and-middle phases of the coup — along with his DOJ counterpart, former Deputy Attorney General Rod (“I’ll wear a wire”) Rosenstein.

    I have a theory about the McCabe case: The Attorney General has taken the rinky-dink “lying to the FBI” charge off the table. It has become a liability, virtually the emblem for government misconduct, and Mr. Barr is getting rid of it in these matters. It has already caused too much mischief, insulted Americans’ sense of justice, and damaged the DOJ’s standing. Note, Andrew McCabe has been let off only on this charge, stemming from only one particular IG referral; he may well yet be liable for more serious charges-to-come. From here on, there will be no more rinky-dink lying charges against any of those implicated in the coup, only the most serious charges, and only those that add up to a solid case.

    Dan Bongino noted that the DOJ had egg on its face after a DC jury acquitted Gregory Craig and didn’t want to risk another loss. Lisa Page would probably have had to testify against him to make the case.

    Her photo toasting the charges against him being dropped suggests that as far as she’s concerned, omertà is the word. There were earlier reports that she’d been flipped, though. If she was, her handlers have her playing a long game.

    Time will tell.

    • #18
    • February 18, 2020, at 6:21 AM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Tedley (View Comment):
    Fortunately, I think enough Trump supporters see this for the crock that it is. 

    What’s the crock?

    That Roger Stone was found guilty? 

    That the sentencing was so severe? 

    The media outrage at DOJs ignoring the recommended sentence?

    The Russian investigation itself?

    What are you calling a crock?

    • #19
    • February 18, 2020, at 6:22 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Spin (View Comment):

    Tedley (View Comment):
    Fortunately, I think enough Trump supporters see this for the crock that it is.

    What’s the crock?

    That Roger Stone was found guilty?

    That the sentencing was so severe?

    The media outrage at DOJs ignoring the recommended sentence?

    The Russian investigation itself?

    What are you calling a crock?

    That the prosecutors made such a ridiculous sentencing recommendation.

    The entire Russia investigation.

    On the other hand, Stone was guilty and would be found so again in a retrial.

    On the third hand, it was a crock that the Mueller team authorized a SWAT team arrest of Stone at his home, after making sure to tip off CNN when there is no doubt he would have surrendered himself like most defendants in similar situation.

    On the fourth hand, the prosecution itself never would have happened but for the crock of the entire Russia investigation.

    • #20
    • February 18, 2020, at 6:30 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Andy McCarthy always helps”

    George Papadopoulos was convicted of making a trivial false statement about the date of a meeting. Roger Stone was convicted of obstruction long after the special counsel knew there was no Trump–Russia conspiracy, even though his meanderings did not impede the investigation in any meaningful way. And in the case of Michael Flynn’s false-statements conviction, as McCabe himself acknowledged to the House Intelligence Committee, even the agents who interviewed him did not believe he intentionally misled them.

     

    • #21
    • February 18, 2020, at 6:32 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  22. Marley's Ghost Member

    Spot on Susan!

    • #22
    • February 18, 2020, at 6:39 AM PST
    • 1 like
  23. Ontheleftcoast Member

    1100 former DOJ officials… There need to be a lot more former DOJ officials. The problem is, the problem is in every branch of government at every level.

    Remember, in most cities, chiefs of police serve at the pleasure of the mayor or city manager. This is what gives the Mayor of LA pleasure:

    In what can only be described as giving the middle finger to the United States of America and law and order, the mayor of Los Angeles and his equally law-breaking police chief recorded a public service announcement letting illegal aliens know they will not be held accountable to U.S. laws while living in .LA.

    “Regardless of your immigration status, I want every Angeleno to know your city is on your side,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Here in Los Angeles, our police department does not coordinate with ICE or participate in immigration enforcement.”

    … The police chief, Michel Moore, weighed in with his thoughts: “Our police force does not do the job of federal law enforcment…we will not enforce immigration laws.”

    …We now have a three-tiered justice system: one for the elite Democrats, who never face time no matter what they do; one for the rest of us, who never get a break; and one for illegal aliens, who are exempted from all federal crimes based on their political importance to the Democrat voting block. How much longer can this go on?

    • #23
    • February 18, 2020, at 7:30 AM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    Remember, in most cities, chiefs of police serve at the pleasure of the mayor or city manager. This is what gives the Mayor of LA pleasure:

    I just don’t get it. Seeing Chiefs refuse to enforce the law is incomprehensible to me. Over politics? Really?

    • #24
    • February 18, 2020, at 7:36 AM PST
    • 1 like
  25. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    Remember, in most cities, chiefs of police serve at the pleasure of the mayor or city manager. This is what gives the Mayor of LA pleasure:

    I just don’t get it. Seeing Chiefs refuse to enforce the law is incomprehensible to me. Over politics? Really?

    They should get the Theophilus Eugene Connor Award for distinguished public service.

    Unfortunately, this is looking more like reality tomorrow’s California headlines every day:

    When California declares independence, their dreams of socialist diversity become nightmares for many from the high Sierras to the Central Valley. Follow the lives of those who must decide whether to stand their ground, or flee!

    In San Diego, the commander of Naval Special Warfare Group One finds his hands tied by red tape, even as protesters storm the base and attack dependents.
    In Los Angeles, an airline mechanic must beg, borrow, or bribe to get his family on the plane out before the last flight out.
    Elsewhere, a couple seeks out the new underground railroad after being forced to confess to crimes they didn’t commit.
    In the new state of Jefferson, farmers must defend themselves against carpetbaggers and border raiders.
    And in the high Sierras, a woman must make the decision to walk out alone…

    • #25
    • February 18, 2020, at 7:49 AM PST
    • 1 like